Water Bending is one of the primary elemental bending arts in the Avatar Universe. As the name suggests, it deals with the ability to bend and control Water. Water Bending ability is more common among the people of the Water Tribe. In the Avatar Universe, the people of the Water Tribe inhabit both the North and South Pole of the Earth. Avatar Korra was also born in the Southern Water tribe.
In this article, we will look at how Water Bending is different from other bending arts and what are the highlights of this bending.
History Of Water Bending
Like all other bending powers, Water bending was also given to humans by the lion turtle through energy bending. But when the era of Avatar started, the lion turtles refused to give these powers to humans again. So after this, the people started developing their bending abilities sourcing them from the moon’s effect on tides.
Water Bending uses the moon as its source. Water Benders base their bending techniques on the high and low pull of the tides and represent change based on Water’s everchanging ability. They also use this technique to teach young water benders.
Moreover, Water Bending is the only bending ability that originated from the moon and ocean spirits rather than animals. As a result, the water benders have a powerful spiritual connection with the moon and the ocean. However, these spirits also live in the main Universe and do not reside in the spirit world. Therefore, any adverse effect on these spirits also negatively affects this bending. Conversely, the Water bending abilities are enhanced during the night and in the presence of a full moon.
We saw an example of this in Avatar: The Last Airbender when Admiral Zhao killed the moon spirit because of this reason. Killing the moon spirit stripped the Water Benders of their abilities.
Water Bending Capabilities
It is synonymous with change, and all the movements are exquisite and replicate the movements of Water. The water benders can even extract water vapors and freeze them. They can create whips, octopus forms, and even prisons using only their bending. They can even cause giant waves or a Tsunami if they are powerful enough. Furthermore, water Benders can freely attack with different ice blades or other attacking options by converting Water into ice.
Another exciting capability that water benders possess is that they can create water spheres around themselves to travel through Water. The spheres contain air, so the benders and their companions can travel inside them without drowning. We saw the use of these water spheres by Katara when she transported the team Avatar and Appa through the Water.
This Water sphere can also serve as a defensive mechanism to deflect oncoming attacks. Water Benders can also surround themselves with water rings as a defensive mechanism.
Like all bending abilities, Water Bending has several special types that only very skillful benders can control. The first one is healing. In the water tribe, the women also use their bending capabilities to utilize the healing properties of Water. For example, Katara healed Aang from the effects of Azula’s fatal lightning strike that almost killed him.
The other special type of Water Bending is Blood Bending. We witnessed this power when Hama showed her power to Katara, who herself had to use it to save herself from Hama. Blood bending was a central point in The Legend of Korra as we see Avatar Aang strip Yakone of his bending abilities because of his crimes using Blood Bending.
Then we see Amon, who turned out to be Yakone’s son, possessing master-level Blood Bending that even evolved to the point that he stripped Korra of her abilities using Energy Bending.
Water Bending is also prone to some weaknesses. The main weaknesses that affect this bending ability are lack of movement and lunar eclipses or anything that might block the moon.
The ability to bend Water depends significantly on the arms and upper body movement. So, if you tie down the arms of a water bender, there is not much he can do to use his abilities afterward.
Another thing that can affect the water bending ability is a lunar eclipse. Loss of moonlight can result in the complete stopping of Water Bending, as we saw in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
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